Saturday, February 26, 2011

Jan 29 - Feb 19 2011

We're on the airplane going to Fiji and it is a six hour and forty minute flight, so we have lots of time to kill. We flew to Hawaii on the 29th of January on our way to Christmas Island. I had called the Mission President of Hawaii to see if he could direct me to a dentist, as my crown had broken off and I needed to have it pulled. He directed me to a member Janelle, whose husband is a pediatric dentist. They made me an appointment for Monday with one of his friends. Janelle was so friendly and nice and she invited us for dinner on Sunday. Their home is big and in a beautiful setting. Her husband does the cooking on Sunday, and Janelle does the inviting! She had invited a senior couple in the Hawaii mission, her husband’s parents and sister, and a couple of cousins. She also invited Nathan Osmond, who is the son of Allen Osmond. He is doing a show at the Marriot, and his manager and wife were also invited. The food was wonderful and the company was great. Janelle’s husband is not a member and she said she loves to surround him with lots of Mormons so that they can be an influence in getting him closer to Baptism! She said that he is a dry Mormon already! Nathan sang us a hymn just before leaving which was great.

The next day we were excited to see Tom’s Sister Jo, who is a flight attendant and was stopping in Hawaii for a day. She stayed at the same motel as we do. We went for a little ride to a place that we had been told was a good place to look for whales and turtles. I t was a beautiful spot surrounded by huge houses. We did see some tales of the whales and a few turtles. My dental appointment was this day also and Janelle offered to take me so that Tom could spend more time with Jo. The dentist said that he thought he could save the tooth but it would take a lot of procedures and he could not guarantee it. So it all boils down to if you talk to a general dentist he will try to save the tooth, and an oral surgeon would tell me I need to have it pulled. They were able to recommend and get me an appointment with an oral surgeon on the way back from Christmas Island.

We left for Christmas on Tuesday which became Wednesday when we got there! The Moser’s, the senior couple there, had just arrived back that same day in the morning from a Temple trip to Fiji. It was so great to see them again. Both of them had been coughing and congested. Elder Moser was the worst and we told him not to come to the training but he said he didn’t want to miss it. We had training of the four missionaries who are Elder Vesikula, Elder Anderl, Sister Roteti, and Sister Kamouti. They have all been doing quite well and the work is moving forward there. Later on that day we were invited to go to a celebration for the school which Navy people had helped build and remodel. They had been there for about nine months. They had a little program where they introduced the new name of the school. It was named after the base where the Navy guys are based who built it. They had some dancers perform and then it was time to eat. There were two pigs laid sprawled on the table with head, legs and feet, yum yum! We ate first and then we were able to leave.

On Friday, we had training and then a ward party that night. This was a party for the Christmas branch. It was great to see all of the members again. It started an hour and a half late, nothing new about that! They had prepared a dancing program and it was super as usual. On Saturday, they had baptisms. There were eight people it was really special. The font is small and the water must have been pretty cold as they winced when they got in. Elder Vesikula baptized all of them and he was holding his back when he got out! It is always so great to witness these baptisms.

On Sunday, we went to three sacrament meetings. It was fast Sunday and so it was great to feel of the people’s spirit as they bore testimony. Some of them were those who just got back from going to the Temple, and they just beamed. We went to a unit in a place called Poland, which took two hours to get to. When we arrived we went to a Manuaba, where the sacrament meeting was held. There were about eight people there.How humble we felt in that meeting. The full time Elders were going to go back the next week to do some finding and teaching. We left and went to a place where we could eat a lunch that Sister Moser prepared for us. It was quite windy but the view was wonderful. I had not been feeling well from the time we left to go to Poland, I was achy and I had a headache. After eating I felt a little better.

On Monday, I woke up aching everywhere and with a fever. So Tom had to go do some interviews and I stayed in the hotel. It was a long day for me. That evening we were treating the Missionaries to a dinner at the hotel. I was still bad and Sister Moser had become sicker so she did not go either.

Tuesday, I was still achy and not feeling like eating much. Tom went and accomplished a few more things and then came back before he went to the Banana branch party. So it was another long day in the room which started smelling more mildewy each day.The Moser’s were still not doing well and Tom told them to go to a Doctor and get checked. They did and he said they didn’t sound too good. Tom told them if he thought it was bad to catch the flight to Fiji to see a real Doctor. They did go to Fiji and found out that Elder Moser had pneumonia and they put him in the hospital for a week. After that week the Doctor released him but said that he needed to stay another week before going back to Christmas. I was so glad that Tom had the insight to get him to be checked and taken care of. We love them both and will be sad to have them leave the end of March. We had said our goodbyes when we left which was hard.

Wednesday, it was time to go back to Hawaii and I had added another problem which was causing me to go to the bathroom constantly. Tom asked if I thought I was up to going. I said I couldn’t stay in that room for one more minute! Basically I had a restroom which I stayed in for half of the time. When we got to Hawaii I still was not well, but I was a little better than I had been. So we rented a car and on the way to the hotel I asked Tom to stop at the MacDonald’s for some fries and a drink. I had some but it was too early to eat! We had another treat in the fact that Tom, Jo’s husband flew in that day and Jo came in the next morning. Tom, and Tom went out to get something to eat, and I laid low in the room.

The next day was my Birthday and the day I was supposed to get my tooth pulled. We canceled my appointment as I didn’t feel up to going. So Jo came and we decided to take a ride around the Island. It felt good to get out and we had a good time. They took us to dinner that night for my Birthday which was so nice.

The next day Jo had to leave and so the two Tom’s went to Pearl Harbor and through a submarine. I just took it easy but I did manage to go to Wal-Mart andspend a little money!

We left on Friday Hawaiian time and got back to Majuro on Saturday their time. We were exhausted but glad to be back. We found out that we were not going to get to take the small plane to Tarawa as we had planned. They do not have any fuel there. So we knew that we were going back to Hawaii in a week! Sister Hewstone invited us to dinner the next day for her husband’s Birthday. It was good to go and she had invited all of the senior couples also.

Tuesday and Wednesday, Tom interviewed all of the missionaries on Majuro and I went so that I could talk to the Missionaries while they were waiting their turn. I love this time because I get to know them better. Monday was Valentine’s Day and we had home evening studying the scriptures with the seniors.

On Tuesday, it was Valentines back home. Malia had planned a home evening with our family. She had us all write down why we loved each person in the family. They skyped us and then we all had the opportunity to tell each one why we love them. She had made a heart and the person who was being talked about got to hold it while everyone told them why they love them. It was so sweet and we were so glad that we could be a part of it. Malia is going to write what was said by everyone and give us all a copy. Thanks Malia for doing that it means a lot to us.

On Thursday, we received four new missionaries in the Marshall side and four new missionaries on the Kitibati side. We received three Elders: Elder Emmett, Elder Jensen, Elder Taorobwa, and Sister Terabwena. On the other side we also received three Elders: Elder Flynn, Elder Mahe, Elder Bank’s and Sister Gardner. The ones in the Marshall side ate dinner with us and stayed over night. The Corry’s fed those in Kirtabati, which we are so grateful for their help. We skyped with the others on Friday as well. Another great bunch of Missionaries we are so excited to have.

Well the rest of the week zipped by and we left Majuro on Saturday and arrived in Hawaii on Friday night! They had a hard time getting us a room. The place we usually stay was all booked. Luckily they found us one somewhere else. Apparently because it was President’s day weekend and a race, and some military thing was why it was so crowded. We thought we were going to have to walk to the hotel as it was very difficult to get a Taxi with so many people arriving.

Tom has not felt so good this past week and we hope and pray that he does not get what I had. We didn’t do much in Hawaii, just a little shopping and R&R. We left today which was Sunday and we arrive in Fiji where it will be Monday! The airport workers almost know us by name, we see them so often! Some of the flight attendants also! We haven’t been to Fiji since November, but we are there only one day and night. People ask if we dislike all the travel. We know that it is what we will be doing as our Mission is so spread out. We haven’t mastered sleeping on the plane yet, just little cat naps here and there. We love this work and we know that the Lord is in charge. He guides and directs the missionaries here and uses them as his mouthpiece. We love to go to the baptisms and see the light in those who accepted the gospel. Sometimes I can’t believe all of the special experiences we have taken part in. We would have never guessed that we would be here doing what we are doing, as we would just be putting in papers for another mission about now! We love the work and the special people and missionaries we rub shoulders with. We love all of you. Thank you for your constant support and prayers in our behalf. The gospel is the greatest gift any of us can give to others. Pick a person to fellowship and bring into the church or back to the church. We all need to help the work move forward. We love you, Mom & Dad / Nana & Papa / Pres & Sister Shaw

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